Why Should We Care About Libraries?

By Deborah Fleet, Audio Proofreader (MLIS)

Bibliotech CoverBibliotech Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google
By John Palfrey, narrated by Tom Zingarelli, publication date June 25, 2015

I remember my very first library card. I got it when I was six years old from a bookmobile in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A new world opened to me via the public library and bookmobile. By the time I was nine, I learned that I could teach myself nearly anything from a book. My eyes were opened! Apply that today to not just libraries, but the digital world the Internet, Google, and YouTube have opened up for us.

Author John Palfrey presents a veritable and outstanding argument promoting the endurance of the institution known as library in Bibliotech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google. He reminds us that “Libraries are at risk because we have forgotten how essential they are.” Libraries should not, cannot, and must not disappear; they only need to transform with the help of advocacy, philanthropists, and a merging of the minds of librarians, digital technologists, government entities, publishers, agents, authors, and those who love libraries for what they have been for decades, centuries even: the University of the People. Tom Zingarelli presents a clear, concise reading of this most excellent book that should be read or listened to by members of local government—

THE LIBRARY at the University of Rhode Island
THE LIBRARY at the University of Rhode Island

democrats and republicans alike—and anyone interested in the relevance, advocacy, and importance of libraries and librarians today and in the future. We must not be a society that burns books—or libraries. Books, real tomes of paper as well as all the digital entities that make up reading, must not be allowed to burn, disintegrate, or fall into the digital abyss of fathoms of Internet nothingness. This book is not just for librarians – it is written so that anyone can “get it” regarding the value of the librarianship of books both digital and codified in a digital plus Google world, as well as the diversification of library collections, copyright law, privacy, and the print vs. digital debate. Give a copy to your local library board, town council, school board, and go ahead and listen to it yourselves. Libraries matter.

University of Rhode Island, Kingston Campus
Nine inscriptions decorate the University Library in Kingston. They were carved by John Benson from 1992-1995 as part of a program to provide art for public facilities.

While achieving my MLIS from the University of Rhode Island, I faced the following two signs on my every visit to the university library. Think about the message they give to students, professors, and visitors on campus regarding the very nature of libraries and why they exist. I am a librarian, and proud of it. I use my skills daily. Love your libraries, as it gives voice and education to those who cannot afford Internet connections, those who cannot buy the latest best seller or audiobook. Hug a librarian. Libraries and librarians expand minds.

To spread a little more library love visit http://www.ilovelibraries.org/

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